MANILA, Philippines - The government of Japan has approved a P21.4 billion loan for the improvement and maintenance of Philippine roads, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon “Ricky” Carandang said.
In a press release, Carandang said “it’s a [Department of Public Works and Highways] project that Secretary [Rogelio] Singson has been working on and they approved the P21.4-billion worth of [official development assistance] for roads.”
The loan was forged on the sidelines of the 17th Association of Southeast Nations Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. The announcement came after the bilateral meeting between President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
Carandang said Japan was “very supportive of our infrastructure projects.”
Japan is also easing requirements for the country’s nurses under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).
The controversial deal, which was questioned before the Supreme Court for its constitutionality, seeks to promote investments and trade of goods and services between the 2 countries.
Carandang said both had agreed to “explore ways where we can help nurses improve their passing the national exams.”
“One thing they are considering is to teach our nurses (the) Japanese (language) even before they go to Japan so a lot of proposals are on the table but they want to make it easier for our nurses to have access to their labor force,” he said.
Japan is not asking for anything in return, but the country is committing to support its bid in the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2016 to 2017.
“So we will vote for Japan. Our vote will go to Japan,” Carandang said.